Is Europe worth saving? *UPDATED*

American troops parading through Paris WWIICommentary Magazine ran a post asking “Can American Save Europe Again?” It seems to me that the better question is should America save Europe again? Europe is certainly a repository of some of the world’s greatest art and architecture, not to mention some damn fine food, but I am not feeling the love for Europeans, who always seem to learn the wrong lessons from history.

The problem, as I see it, with continental Europe is that it has absolutely no tradition of individual liberty. It is statist to the bone. Whether Europeans are indulging in garden-variety-dictatorships, medieval/Renaissance theocracies, monarchies, aristocracies, oligarchies, socialist parties (communist or otherwise), or rule by bureaucrat (i.e., the EU), the European model is always directed at total state control. That’s why there is no conservative movement in Europe, as we in America understand conservatism.

To Americans, conservativism means small government, free markets, and maximum individual liberty, a belief in the common man’s energy, imagination, and initiative that paved the way for America’s dynamic emergence on the world stage in the 20th century. To Europeans, being “right wing” or “conservative” still means total government control — it just means total government control with varying degrees of nationalism, as opposed to all those other -isms, thrown in.  The European “right-winger” still wants his government checks and government regulations.  It’s just that he just doesn’t want the “other,” whomever that other happens to be (sometimes Muslims, sometimes Roma, sometimes Italians or Greeks, and always Jews) to live with him under that tight government control.

Europe’s obsession with citizen control, whether it comes through the socialist party, the communist party, the church, the bureaucracy, the aristocracy, or the monarchy, may go some way to explaining Europe’s endless hostility to the Jews — the Jews have never and will never yielded to state control. They can be confined to ghettos or forced into a narrow range of professions or even routinely slaughtered, but they still insist on being Jews. They refuse to bow down to anyone but their God.

How frustrating for control freak nations to have these stubborn people living among them. If they are that stubborn, they must be dangerous. And in a total control society, when something appears dangerous, you must destroy it.

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I don’t like Bernie because his “Medicare For All” plan is terrible for America’s health and economy

Bernie sanders yellingMy college-age child introduced me to a website called I Like Bernie, But… which is particularly appealing to young voters. The website offers short answers to concerns pro-Bernie voters might still be harboring about his policies and his ability to win. With few exceptions, these answers are just plain wrong. You can see my rebuttals at a website I set up as a counterweight (I Don’t Like Bernie, Because…). I’ve republished those same articles here, at my own blog, addressing Bernie’s socialism, his tax plans, and his Second Amendment stance. Today I’m tackling everything that’s wrong with Bernie’s plan to socialize American medicine.

The I Like Bernie site imagines a worried Progressive voter exclaiming “I heard he wants to get rid of Obamacare!” Not to worry , says I Like Bernie. In fact, Bernie wants to make Obamacare even better by putting our entire medical system into government hands:

Bernie's healthcare plan

This promise — that everyone will get high-quality, free medical care, thereby saving American families thousands of dollars a year, while keeping them healthier — is false. There is no way Bernie can do this. The numbers don’t add up, and both the Obamacare experience in America and the socialized medicine experience in Europe show that the free market, not government, is the only way to bring costs down, making quality medical care available to everyone. If you have the patience, this post will walk you through the analysis, using what I hope is clear, simple language, making learning about the economics of medical care a relatively painless process. (Or, as the doctor with the big needle aimed at your arm always says, “This won’t hurt a bit.”)

I.  What Bernie promises

Bernie’s campaign, in its ongoing effort to pretend that Bernie is not a socialist (he is, and that’s a bad thing), has titled his plan “Medicare for all.” When he talks about his plan, though, Bernie skips that cute Medicare euphemism and goes for the kill: “The only long-term solution to America’s health care crisis is a single-payer national health care program.”

The “single payer” to whom Bernie refers is the government. That’s a euphemism too.  The government isn’t really paying for anything at all, because the government doesn’t have money of its own. It never earns money, it takes money.  Thus, all of the money in its bank account is actually taken from every American who pays taxes.

So what Bernie really means when he talks about single-payer nationalized medicine is that he wants “taxpayer-funded” health care. He envisions using taxpayers to fund his grandiose plan of setting up a system in which the government takes those taxpayer funds and, after siphoning off vast funds for administrative salaries, waste, and graft, takes what’s left to pay for doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, hospitals (everything from janitors to floor clerks to surgeons), and pharmaceuticals.  It will impose these prices from the top down, bullying doctors and nurses who spent years, or even decades, perfecting their skills; hospitals that have invested millions in infrastructure to provide patient care; and pharmaceutical companies that routinely invest millions in research that usually comes up dry, in the hopes of hitting it big with the odd medicine here and there.

Here’s the truth:  Even if you love Bernie’s plan, it can’t work.  The numbers won’t add up, just as they haven’t been adding up in Europe or in America (with Obamacare).  In the rest of this post, I’ll explain why.

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The Bookworm Beat 2/4/16 edition — “it’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265It’s been some time since my last round-up so, without further ado:

A primer for those who need to be reminded why Hillary should be incarcerated, not inaugurated. Deroy Murdock has a knack for political parables. Using the example of the “Foggy Bottom Department Store,” he makes it clear just how heinous Hillary’s conduct has been in connection with her egregious national security violations.

And a primer on foreign trade and capitalism. Larry Elder has a truly brilliant piece about the benefits that flow to America from low tariffs and foreign trade — benefits that are very real even when it seems that American jobs are going away. I urge you to read it. (This is a different issue, of course, from the Democrats and Chamber of Commerce types manipulating and violating American law to ship in cheap labor at the expense of American citizens.)

One of the things I like about Ted Cruz is the long list of people who hate him. You can know a man by his friends and by his enemies. Strong conservatives respect Ted Cruz; RINOs (and RINO’s are the majority of “Republicans” in Congress) hate and fear him. That works for me. Spengler, aka David P. Goldman, has more to say about Cruz’s well-earned Iowa victory (it was a brilliant ground game, not cheating) and about Cruz’s rejection of the Washington establishment and embrace of ordinary conservatives — core conservatives — across America.

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[VIDEO] Jimmy Carter endorses Donald Trump — because he has no fixed principles

Jimmy Carter endorses TrumpWhoever did the research to find this clip found a humdinger indeed.  In it, Jimmy Carter says that, if he had to pick a Republican candidate, he’d go for Trump, because he has no fixed principles and is malleable, unlike Ted Cruz, who is a staunch conservative, and cannot be manipulated.   It reminds me that I’m unimpressed by the list of Cruz’s enemies — the politicians who array themselves against him having consistently proven to be the worst type of quislings. They will always sell out the conservative voters who elected them in order to curry favor with the drive-by media, the Hollywood crowd, and the Chamber of Commerce types (who, if you recall, will always back foreign workers against American labor).

Watcher’s Council nominations for February 3, 2016

The best thing about election years is that those are the years that generate routinely superb posts.  Don’t believe me?  Just read the nominations at the Watcher’s Council (as well as reading about the Weasel of the Week and the Forum):

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

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The all-important Second Amendment, and why Bernie is wrong when he votes against it

Bernie sanders yellingThis is part three in my ongoing series challenging a simplistic pro-Bernie blog that is aimed at and popular with young people. I Like Bernie, But… states questions that worried Progressives might have about Bernie Sanders and gives short, usually highly misleading answers to those questions.

I started a new blog, entitled I Don’t Like Bernie, Because. . ., and have already written posts challenging the way in which the I Like Bernie team pretended (a) that Bernie is not a socialist; (b) that his tax plans, rather than killing the economy, will enrich all but the rich; and (c) that he can successfully socialize American medicine. (You can also read those posts in Bookworm Room, herehere, and here.)  Those were easy posts, because one just had to take on the lies and misdirection.

A more interesting question is Bernie on gun control.  Bernie has been very uneven on that subject, sometimes voting for more gun control and sometimes voting against it (with his last few votes leaning more strongly in favor of gun control).  The I Like Bernie crowd seeks to assure people that Bernie really hates the Second Amendment.  I went a different way in my I Don’t Like Bernie post:  I want to convince young Progressives that they’re most safe in a Second Amendment world.  Here is a reprint of that post:

Why it’s no compliment to Bernie that the NRA hates him

The website I Like Bernie, But… seeks to address concerns that voters might have about Bernie Sanders, and to assure them that his plans work, that he’s electable, and that his vision his sound.  Previous posts on this blog have addressed the I Like Bernie take on his socialism (yes, he’s a socialist, not a Democrat) and his tax and spend plans (which are great if you want to kill the economy).  This post takes on the I Like Bernie discussion about Bernie and guns.

The question asked is “Isn’t he too weak on gun control?”  No, the I Like Bernie team hastens to assure readers, he’s not.  The Brady Campaign loves him and the NRA hates him:

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Teen Vogue: Further evidence that conservatives desperately need to enter the world of teenage-girl’s and women’s magazines *UPDATED*

Teen VogueSometimes life has a peculiar harmony.  Yesterday morning, Instapundit linked to a post I did in 2012 noting that women’s magazines have been one of the strongest vehicles in America for Progressive propaganda, and agreeing with Glenn Reynolds that conservatives need to get in the women’s magazine business if they want to change the culture.  Yesterday afternoon, the mail brought me a copy of Teen Vogue, which apparently arrived here as a freebie after my daughter bought some online clothes.  This little magazine, which is directed at America’s young women, proved to be an eye-opening read, and a reminder that Glenn Reynolds is as right now as he was in 2012.

The magazine, of course, is overrun with pages and pages of fashion and cosmetic advertisements, as well as a handful of articles pushing fashions for the upcoming season. What the magazine is really selling, though, is Progressivism.  It beings with the very first substantive piece after the advertisements, which is a “Letter from the Editor” (Andrew Bevan, an openly gay fashionista).  The letter is entitled “Feminine Force,” which is this edition’s “theme.”  To that end, Bevan expresses delight that that, after a brief disenchantment with “feminism,” women in America are embracing the idea all over again:

What a difference a couple of years makes.  It was just 2013 when the web lit up with stories about big-time female celebrities who preferred to distance themselves from the word feminist.  I’m not gonna [sic] out them here, but you can Google it.  Maybe it took a new generation to embrace the term (it simply means believing in equal rights for women!) and to stand up for the cause — especially on social media, which has gained, not coincidentally, a lot of traction in those two years.  Lena Dunham, Rowan Blanchard, our wise and wonderful cover star Amandla Stenberg . . . Tavi Gevinson, Jennifer Lawrence, Cara Delevingne, and so many others are using their platforms to support opportunity for women, and the message is overdue.

That is a peculiarly disingenuous little paragraph.  While feminism once was about such simple concepts as equal civil rights (voting, owning property, etc.), and equal workplace rights (equal pay for equal work), it now has nothing to do with “equal rights” for women.  Women have already achieved those equal rights.  Indeed, they achieved them as a matter of federal law by 1964.  Now, while there may be a few scattered employers who try to cheat women, the institutionalized marginalization of women is in the distant past.

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Found it on Facebook: A new conspiracy blossoming among Hillary supporters

Would any company hire Hillary just because she's a womanHillary supporters know why their beloved “first female president” is in danger of getting crushed by the Bernie juggernaut.  It’s a conspiracy and, if the Left discerns a conspiracy on the Right, you just know who they’re going to tag: Yes! It’s all the fault of the Koch brothers that an aged, grating, utterly corrupt woman who has never accomplished anything without using men for leverage, is not resonating with voters:

Koch Brother conspiracy against Hillary

As you can see, the above poster has been shared almost 2,000 times, although there are (as of now) only 38 comments. Most of the comments are muddled and incoherent (although a couple just do a laundry list of Hillary’s purported accomplishments), but one is a gem of feminist Leftist thinking:

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If you’re feeling in a charitable mood today, a retired Marine and his family need your help

Jordan GoFundMe PictureI received an email from my local Navy League chapter asking for some help.  A retired USMC veteran with a wife and two young children was in a serious car accident.  He will recover, but it will be a long, slow process.

Jordan has a GoFundMe page but his friends haven’t quite been able to come up to the $12,000 estimated to cover his medical and family costs.  If you can add a few bucks to the money jar, that would help a lot.  Here’s the info from the GoFundMe page:

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“I heard Bernie wants to raise taxes” — you heard right, and it’s going to hurt

Bernie sanders yellingMy daughter introduced me to a pro-Bernie site called I Like Bernie, But….  There, in response to various concerns voters might have about Bernie (e.g., he’s a socialist or a taxer), the website provides short, pithy, and entirely inaccurate responses aimed at setting those fears to rest.

Because I know that the website appeals strongly to young voters, I created a website called I Don’t Like Bernie, Because… that challenges the misinformation.  Today I challenged the pro-Bernie’ website’s breezy promise that higher taxes on the rich will easily fund Bernie’s spending plans, leaving tons of money left over for everyone else.  Here’s that post:

“I heard he wants to raise taxes” — you heard right, and it’s going to hurt

The new website I Like Bernie, But tries to calm people’s fears about Bernie Sander’s socialist extremism.  It states questions reflecting concerns that people might have about Bernie, and then provides pithy little answers refuting those fears.

In a previous post, I addressed the myriad falsehoods, omissions, and misconceptions in the website’s assurance that Bernie isn’t a dangerous socialist, he’s a good socialist. This post addresses the misleading answer to a concern that “I heard he [Bernie] wants to raise taxes.”

Here’s what I Like Bernie, But…. has to say about Bernie and taxes:

I Like Bernie But On Taxes

That’s simply false. Here’s the truth:

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[VIDEOS] If you think our culture has degraded, you’re right, and these videos prove it

Iggy AzaleaMy son wanted me to watch a video that he and his peers find incredibly funny.  Someone got hold of footage of Iggy Azalea, a young Australian rapper, “freestyling” and spent a lot of time putting together subtitles.  Aside from the “F” word’s frequent appearance (consider yourself warned), the result is complete gibberish:

Iggy Azalea, incidentally, is a very wealthy young woman because of her skills as a rapper.

My son next showed me footage of Eminem, who is richer than God, freestyling. He uses actual words (again, a language warning), but put together they spell simplistic nonsense:

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